Loisanne's Blog

The meandering path of my life

Teaser of Beginning


GATEWAYS (tentative title)

by Lois Kleber




“You are such a total butthead!” Jared yelled at his older brother Joseph. Jared looked down at what was left of his candy bar on the sidewalk. He was so mad. But then, Joseph had a way of making him that way. Jared looked back at his brother and saw him standing there chewing away at his own candy bar, chuckling with a big grin on his face. The sight of it made Jared even more furious.

“If you hadn’t tried to hit me, you wouldn’t have dropped your candy bar” Joseph said, his words slightly slurred as he spoke through a mouthful of gooey, chewed up candy.

“If YOU hadn’t called me a dork, for no reason, I wouldn’t have tried to hit you” Jared exclaimed.

“But,” Joseph started, his round face taking on an expression of feigned innocence, “you ARE a dork”.

“You’re a fat retard” Jared threw back at his brother. “And you’re the one that should have dropped your candy bar. You’re gonna get even fatter”.

Jared could see the anger building in Joseph’s face. Usually, Jared’s taunts about his brother’s weight had little effect, but out in public where people could hear was another situation altogether. Jared knew he should stop right there and go no further in the trading of insults, but he couldn’t help himself. He wanted revenge for the lost candy bar.

“Jabba the butt. Jabba the gut.” Jared knew exactly what sort of monster he was about to wake but he couldn’t stop prodding it. Joseph was 6 years older than him, outweighed him by about 120 lbs, and was always the winner when their arguments came to blows. Still, Jared couldn’t make himself stop. He was angry and anger always clouded his judgment.

“Shut up you little turd muncher,” Joseph said, the look on his face ominous, “or I’m gonna beat you.”

“As long as you don’t fall on me. I don’t think I’d survive that” Jared said.

He barely got the words out of his mouth before Joseph shoved him backwards causing him to almost fall. Jared caught himself against a light pole and in the process spilled some of his soda on himself.

“You jerk. Look what you did.” Jared was angrier than ever and before he even had the chance to ask himself if it was a good idea or not, he threw the rest of his soda at Joseph. It caught his brother square in the chest, splashing a little of it into his astonished face. The moment Jared saw the soda hitting Joseph, he realized what he’d done. Jared barely got a glimpse of Joseph’s expression turning from shock to rage before he took off running.

Jared hoped he’d gotten enough of a head start. Joseph, for all his bulk, could catch Jared as long as the chase didn’t go on too long. He ran out of steam pretty quick. Jared, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as fast as Joseph but could outlast him. He was small but had more stamina.

“You little punk, I’m gonna beat your face!” Joseph bellowed. Jared could hear big shoes slapping the pavement behind him. His heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, he didn’t bother looking back to see if Joseph was gaining on him. He focused all his attention on escape. If he slowed down for even a split second, the monster would be upon him and there would be no mercy. No one would save him.

Up ahead loomed an intersection. Jared didn’t take time to see in which direction it was safe to cross. He turned the corner and kept running. Unfortunately, this direction was opposite from where Aunt Millie lived. She would be his only protection from Joseph, hallowed ground so to speak. It didn’t look as if he was going to make it there anytime soon though. He was on his own.

Jared reached the end of the block and came to another intersection. Since he no longer heard any sound of footsteps close at his heels, he decided to risk a look back to see if he was still being followed. He wasn’t. Joseph was standing half a block back, bent over and breathing hard. Jared, seeing that he was no longer in immediate danger, became bold again.

“What’s the matter, lard ass? You’re not giving up already are you?”

A part of him knew he was going to pay the price for his taunts later but he couldn’t help himself. His mouth had a mind of it’s own. In fact, his mouth seemed to be what got him in trouble most of the time, especially when it came to his brother. It was really Joseph’s fault though. He was the one who taught him the art of insults at an early age.

Jared saw Joseph raise his head and give him a look of pure malice. From this far away, Jared thought his brother resembled a maddened bull, ready to charge. It wouldn’t have surprised him if Joseph suddenly started pawing the ground with his feet and flared his nostrils as he chuffed a big breath. Yes, Jared would have to pay the piper eventually.

But not right now.

“You know, you really ought to go change out of those wet clothes. You’re not going to win any wet T-shirt contests with those man boobs of yours.” Jared cracked himself up with that one and couldn’t stop laughing. He cupped his hands and put them on the front of his chest, simulating breasts, and danced around.

“I’m Joseph” Jared sang, in a high voice, “I’ve got glorious man boobs. I’ve got the most beautiful man boobs around.”

** Suddenly, Jared heard the sound of doom again and turned to see Joseph chasing after him. He took off around the corner as fast as he could. He hadn’t gone far when he saw an alley and turned down it. It was littered with trash and boxes of junk. There were several large dumpsters further down the alley and Jared made for them. When he reached them he checked behind himself to see if Joseph had followed him. Nope. Jared decided to sit down and rest a while between two of the dumpsters. He wasn’t likely to be seen by anyone glancing down the alley and he dearly needed to figure a way out of the beating he was sure to get from Joseph when he got home.

Jared sat there contemplating the various scenarios that might prolong the dreaded beating. Sickness? No. Aunt Millie would force all sorts of noxious potions on him if he said he was sick and he didn’t know if that would be better than a beating or not. Maybe he could run away? No. Where would he run to? He didn’t have any money either. He wasn’t about to give up all his comforts just to avoid a beating. Where was the logic in that? Jared was despondent. It seemed like there just wasn’t going to be a way out of this one. He leaned back against the side of the building and sighed.

“What a crappy day this is turning out to be.”



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